On Feb. 10, 2015, three young people were senselessly shot to death in their hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


One of the victims was Yusor Abu-Salha, a 21-year-old recent graduate of N.C. State University.


Yusor had married her high school sweetheart, Deah Barakat, just two months earlier. She had moved to Chapel Hill to live with him while he attended dental school.

He was also killed in the shooting.

Yusor and Deah had known each other since elementary school, where they had the same third-grade teacher. That teacher was Sister Mussarut Jabeen.

A few months before the tragedy, Yusor and Sister Jabeen visited StoryCorps, a nonprofit organization that records ordinary Americans interviewing each other about their lives.

It would be one of the last times her voice was ever recorded.

The first part is the interview Yusor and Sister Jabeen gave in early 2014. In it, Yusor talks about how grateful she was to have been raised in the United States.

"Growing up in America has been such a blessing. And although in some ways I do stand out, such as, you know, the hijab, the head covering, there's still so many ways I feel so embedded that is the fabric that is our culture. Here we're all one." — Yusor Abu-Salha

She also recalls a fond memory from Sister Jabeen's class.

"I still remember in 3rd grade when we'd ask for something, you used to say, 'Don't put your hand like this.' You'd have your hand facing downwards as if you're taking something from someone. And then you'd flip your hand over and you'd open your hand up as a giving gesture ... Be giving. Open. Compassionate." — Yusor Abu-Salha

Sister Jabeen had wonderful memories of Yusor too, and she was delighted that she had married Deah, one of her other students.

"I just remember Deah, when he was growing up, he was getting taller, and because I'm a short person, he would stand behind me and put his hand over my head. And I just told him, 'Deah, you can never outgrow my heart.'" — Mussarut Jabeen

Sister Jabeen came back to StoryCorps just days after Yusor was killed to record the very end of the piece. In it, she gives a lovely, bittersweet tribute to her former student.

"I would like people to know her and remember her as a practicing Muslim, as a daughter, and above all, as a good human being. When we write our comments on report cards, we say they 'exceeded our expectations.' She exceeded our expectations." — Mussarut Jabeen

Rest in peace.

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